Focus – In Thailand, tourism-deprived communities turn to gold panning – FRANCE 24

Last summer, the price of gold rose to record highs. At nearly 50 euros a gram – as opposed to 30 euros a gram two years ago – gold is considered a safe investment. © FRANCE 24

In southern Thailand, one business is growing as a result of the Covid-19 crisis: gold panning. With many Thais losing their jobs due to the pandemic, especially in the tourism sector, some are turning to traditional methods of finding gold. Thailand has fared comparatively well compared to other nations, recording only 93 Covid-19 deaths for a population of 69 million. But its borders have been closed for a year and there are strict quarantine rules for all inbound travellers. Our correspondents Didier Gruel, Constantin Simon, Aruna Popuri and Justin McCurry report.